Golden Basketball Magazine
May 5, 2018

"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player."

John Wooden, legendary UCLA coach

Tiger Den Basketball

Pete Maravich's Career at LSU - Junior Year

The 1968-69 Tigers finished one game better than the previous year as Pete increased his points and assists slightly.

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NBA Finals - Game 7: 1952

New York Knicks @ Minneapolis Lakers

To win their first NBA championship, the Knicks would have to beat the Lakers, who had won three of the league's first four titles.

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Basketball Quiz

Which school's father-son (coach-player) duo drew up a great last second play to beat Ole Miss in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in 1998?

  1. DePaul
  2. Pepperdine
  3. Richmond
  4. Valparaiso
Sideshow in Miami
Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association as Told by the Players, Coaches, and Movers and Shakers Who Made It Happen, Terry Pluto (1990)

The Floridians began life as the Minnesota Muskies, a franchise so well financed that after achieving a 50-28 record in the ABA's first season, it packed up and moved to Miami, where it put in four unremarkable years before mercifully folding at the end of the 1971-72 season. The Floridians never did much on the court, but the weather was nice and the ballgirls were nicer.
Rudy Martzke (Public Relations Man for the Floridians: Florida was a franchise with its own special lore. I don't know if it was the warm weather and people feeling like they could do anything they wanted, but there were a lot of crazy stories coming out of there, even by ABA standards. At one time, Florida had eight owners and one of the owners would go around saying, "Has Sidney dumped his 25 grand in yet? We going to make the payroll this week?" There really were stories in the newspaper saying, "The Floridians met the payroll so they'll play tonight."
One of the owners decided to trade for Art Heyman from Pittsburgh without telling anyone else. Heyman showed up in Miami without half the people in the front office knowing he was coming. Bob Halloran from TV-4 in Miami spotted Heyman and interviewed him.
Heyman asked Bob, "Does this go out to Miami Beach?"
Bob said it did.
Heyman said, "Hello, Jews out there! Your boy is here!"
On and on it goes.

L-R: Art Heyman, Levern Tart, Steve Jones
Levern Tart was from West Palm Beach, so they were going to have a Levern Tart Night, but the day before the game he got traded and it was to a team that didn't play in Florida again for the rest of the year.
They even played some games at a place in Coconut Grove where there were so many cockroaches in the dressing rooms that the visiting teams just changed at the hotel. I found out that being Miami's PR man was no bargain, especially since pro football owned the town. One Sunday afternoon, he had a home game scheduled against Utah while the Dolphins were playing Baltimore in the AFC playoffs at the Orange Bowl. By the time we realized that our game would go off at the same time as the Dolphins game, it was too late to change it. Not one press guy showed up for the game ... There were 500 people in the stands - maybe.
(Marketing Director) Kenny Small and I were talking and we decided to announce an attendance of 2,000. Who would know the difference? We settled on 1,650 which was still one of the bigger crowds of the season, and that was what ran under the box score. The next day we had press guys calling and saying, "Hey, that was a helluva crowd with the Dolphins playing and all." And I said, "Yeah, you should have been here."
Steve Jones: The walls in the dressing room were so thin and the two teams' rooms were next to each other, so everybody could hear everything. I was in there with New Orleans and we were up by about 20 points at the half. (Buccaneers coach) Babe McCarthy said, "Shush up, fellas. I want y'all to lissen ta what's going on next door." (Miami coach) Hal Blitman was going nuts, screaming and cussing everyone out. Babe was biting his lip to keep from laughing and we were doing the same thing - we didn't want them to hear us. As we walked out on the floor, all Babe said was, "That's what I'm gonna sound like after the game if we blow this one." Florida was the only place in the league where you could hear the other team's halftime talk.

Floridians' ball girl
Gene Littles (long-time ABA G): No matter what you say about the Floridians, they had the greatest cheerleaders in the world. They were big league all the way, in their looks, their dance routines, and their outfits. They got more attention than the team and that was how it should have been considering the kind of teams they had down there. ...
Martzke: The big event for the girls came when we took them to New York for a Madison Square Garden all-ABA doubleheader. It was right before Christmas. We had a press conference with the girls, got a big turnout and naturally pictures of the girls in the papers. ... Rick Barry was with the Nets and we had a promotion in Grand Central Station with Barry playing Al Albert in this gimmicky basketball game while the girls in their bikinis tried to lure people over to watch. It was pure schlock. The doubleheader drew about 8,500 at the Garden and about 8,000 of the fans showed up to see the girls, because I bet they couldn't name three guys who played that night.